Shahd Abusalama writes, “Being a Palestinian means that you wake up daily to more dehumanisation and oppression. Whenever I have a panic attack and a friend asks what started it, I realise they have no clue about how we experience violence. It’s ongoing. It’s constant.”
Category Archives: Middle East
Many are puzzled why Gaza citizens would risk death by confronting the Israeli military at the borderline. Tom Helman, Joshua Grossman, and Peter Klutz-Chamberlin report on a recent meeting with Palestinian youth from Gaza that helps make the answer to this question clear.
Marc Ellis looks at what comes next after the Great March of return and the Gaza massacre: “In Gaza, the end will continue. As it has for decades. But not only for Palestinians. For Jews within Israel and Jews outside Israel, the historical judgment is certain. Let’s be honest. And realize that the Jewish approach to Israel and the Palestinians, improving modestly over the years but severely compromised, will continue to be interrogated by the suffering of Palestinian populations in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine. Palestinians are trapped. Jews are too.”
In their defense of the Israeli military’s recent actions in Gaza, Israeli political leaders and pro-Israel commentators have articulated a belief that guides Israeli thinking: the existence of the Jewish state requires that Palestinians remain locked in their Gaza prison, with all the violence this entails. The sooner Palestinians accept that, the closer we will come to peace.
“We are the victims now with our tanks and artillery pounding the bodies of those who oppose our wildest dreams
We decimate and maim a people who stand in the way of our glorious vision
Their cries of despair and agony deafened by our own righteous movement
For we are God’s special victims”
Howard Cohen writes an ode to the State of Israel in the light of the massacres of the Palestinian people.
Rawan Yaghi: “The opening ceremony of the embassy, as well as the nauseating tweets of Trump and Netanyahu, confirm and conclude Israel and the US view Palestinians as unworthy of the basic right to live, let alone speak. For Gaza, it was a sad day from which people woke up in shock. Our lives only too real, not science fiction.”
Many Palestinian families have their narratives of the Nakba, especially in Gaza where nearly 70% of the population are refugees. Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh shares the stories of three Gaza families, including his own. Each story share incredible pain and loss, but also hope for the future and the hope of return.
Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel: “A century after the armistice of 1918 and 70 years after the Nakba, ethnic nationalism is alive and well. It is why Palestinian protesters, whether in Gaza, Jerusalem or Umm al-Fahm, can be shot with impunity; why Gazans can be imprisoned en masse for 11 years, with no end in sight.”
Early reports on Monday suggested that Gaza’s demonstrators were being massacred by the Israeli army. Amnesty International called the events a “horror show”. But for more than a month, Israel has been working to manage western perceptions of the protests – and its response – in ways designed to discredit the outpouring of anger from Palestinians.
Nadia Naser-Najjab writes that Mahmoud Abbas’s widely criticized speech on April 30th, that has since become known as his “anti-Semitic speech,” simply served to underline his own political irrelevance.
When it came out that an Israeli security company was digging up dirt on Obama officials in order to discredit the Iran deal, you’d think that fingers would be pointed at Netanyahu, who’s been meddling in our foreign policy for years. No, the press can’t connect the dots. It treats the tale as another instance of Trump being corrupted.
Ronen Bergman’s book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations tells that story of how from 1979 to 1983 very senior Israeli officials conducted a large-scale campaign of car-bombings that killed hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese, most of them civilians. While the book has received the highest praise from reviewers, this secret operation has not been mentioned once. Remi Brulin writes this is a perfect illustration of the political discourse on “terrorism”: “The secret car-bombing operation Israeli officials conducted in Lebanon in the early 1980s represents a remarkable historical example of such ‘silences,’ and of the ‘rules’ that underlie the discourse on ‘terrorism’ and ensure that certain things simply ‘cannot be said,’ certain facts simply aren’t ever mentioned.”
In his book Overcoming Zionism, of 2007, the late Joel Kovel expressed the belief that the creation of Israel in 1948, as a colony of settlers who established an exclusively Jewish and discriminatory state, caused a multi-faceted disaster -– “a dreadful mistake” -– that should be undone, with Israel de-Zionized and integrated into the Middle East. A review by Michael Smith.
The crown prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, now appears to be parroting Israeli propaganda. The Saudi leader prince Mohammed Bin Salman is reported as saying that Palestinians “missed one opportunity after another” and that they should “shut up and stop complaining.”
The implication of the New York Times coverage of the “Great Return March” in Gaza is that the weekly protest demonstrations by tens of thousands of desperate people must be entirely peaceful to be deserving of our support. This is a demand for a superhuman response to the conditions of daily life in Gaza.
Some of the major U.S. and European brands who import from Bangladesh are slinking away from workplace safety there, making another Rana Plaza tragedy more likely. And if anything can fuel the rise of Jihadist Islamism in the heavily-populated country, it’s western exploitation.
Israel is alienating liberal Zionist support by killing unarmed protesters, by its more overt annexation of the West Bank, by its domestic racism, and its gleeful embrace of Donald Trump. Marilyn Garson says that Netanyahu is ripping open a space of liberal doubt and a campaign for Palestinian rights can fill that vacancy.
For Rabbi Eli Sadan of a religious military academy on the West Bank, “the grand arc of the nation” commands from Jews “a heroism, determination, and commitment to sacrifice that is beyond words.” This militant mysticism is for Jews only and inevitably leads to moral corruption, Rabbi Michael Davis explains.
Natalie Portman’s recent decision not to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony has pushed liberal Zionist organizations to endorse boycotts aimed at the Israeli government. Jonathan Ofir says her action shattered a huge taboo, even if she didn’t intend it.
The issue of political prisoners resonates internationally, and are yet another key linkage between the movement for Palestinian’s rights and others. Devyn Springer writes that It is no coincidence, then, that many of the biggest non-Palestinian voices of solidarity are themselves former political prisoners, as well as prison abolitionists.
Underneath all that Israel does lies a central notion – that of the ‘Jewish nation’. It informs all that Israel does, and sits at the core of all its violations. Jonathan Ofir writes, this is the central myth that needs to be dismantled.
Palestinian poet Mohammed al-Kurd talks with Mondoweiss
The latest footage by Palestinian filmmaker Yasser Murtaja, who was killed by Israel at the Gaza border fence on April 6, is a ravishing demonstration of Murtaja’s powers as a filmmaker. Ain Media of Gaza, which he cofounded, thanked international press for its support and vowed to “knock on all doors and will continue with legal institutions to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for this heinous crime…”
Today marks 70 years since the massacre at Deir Yassin. The latest repression in Gaza is a reminder that the spirit of this massacre lives on in Israel. In 1948, as today, massacres to push and keep Palestinians off of the land were dictated by core Israeli policies. It is past time to confront the Western part in this tragedy.
Zionism is a great historical error. Equality, not the two-state solution, is the only guiding principle. Zionism created a brand new set questions about Jewish security and identity just as urgent and fundamental as those of the 19th century. What happens when we become occupiers? What happens when we besiege and annex another people’s land?